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Syria Asks ANOTHER MILLION Citizen “Refugees” To Return Home #Syria #Russia #refugee

On Tuesday, the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, announced that Syria will be ready to accept one million returning refugees, AFP reports.

Shoigu claimed that one million refugees have already returned since 2015 “when towns and villages started to be freed.” But now, he says, “Huge infrastructure reconstruction work is ongoing, the rebuilding of transport routes and security points so that Syria can begin accepting refugees.”

“Now every opportunity has been created for the return of roughly one million (more) refugees,” said Shoigu.

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Russia, an ally of Syria, has provided military assistance to Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad to reestablish power in the country after it faced violence from the Syrian Civil War beginning in 2011 and the growth of the Islamic State.

Since then, the regime has recaptured two-thirds of its territory with the help of Russia. The last enclave for the rebels is in the Idlib province, but government troops are reportedly preparing for an offensive.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 5.6 million fled Syria since 2011 to neighboring countries and 6.6 million are internally displaced, making it the biggest refugee crisis since WWII.

The majority of the refugees fled to countries in the region, including Turkey (3.5 million), Lebanon (976,000), Jordan (668,000), Iraq (249,000), and Egypt (130,000). An additional one million refugees fled to Europe as asylum seekers, half of whom went to Germany, according to Pew Research.

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Recently, the leader of the Islamic State group called for attacks on Canada and other Western countries in a new audio recording, the first attributed to him in nearly a year.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged the group’s followers to respond to recent defeats by carrying out bombings, stabbings and vehicular attacks in his purported 55-minute speech titled “Give Glad Tidings to the Steadfast,” which was published by the group’s media wing, reports UK Express.

“For the Mujahideen (holy warriors) the scale of victory or defeat is not dependent on a city or town being stolen or subject to that who has aerial superiority, intercontinental missiles or smart bombs,” al-Baghdadi said in the Arabic recording.

The Islamic State, which until last year controlled large swathes of Syria and Iraq, has since been driven into the desert by successive defeats in offensives by international allies in both countries.

But al-Baghdadi called on fighters to “trust in God’s promise and His victory,” stating that “with hardship comes relief and a way out.”

He also suggested that the group was behind recent attacks in Canada and Europe, and congratulated who he described as the “striking lions” who carried them out.

ISIS previously claimed responsibility for the July 22 shooting on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, which left two dead and 13 wounded. Canadian police said they haven’t found any evidence to suggest a terror link in the mass shooting.

He also suggested that the group was behind recent attacks in Canada and Europe, and congratulated who he described as the “striking lions” who carried them out.

ISIS previously claimed responsibility for the July 22 shooting on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, which left two dead and 13 wounded. Canadian police said they haven’t found any evidence to suggest a terror link in the mass shooting.

In the Wednesday recording, al-Baghdadi urged Islamic State supporters to “carry out the kind of strikes that terrorize the hearts and send the brains flying,” encouraging them to use guns, knives and bombs while reminding them to “not ignore running over people on the roads,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He also instructed Islamic State fighters around the world — from Somalia, Libya and Yemen to Kashmir and the Caucasus — to focus on their battles rather than quarrel over leadership.

Also in his crosshairs were the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan, with al-Baghdadi calling on the citizens of those countries to rise up and overthrow their rulers.

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A-Baghdadi also used the recording to congratulate Muslims on the occasion of the Islamic holiday of Eid-al-Adha, and mentioned recent events including U.S. tariffs on Turkey and the row between Istanbul and Washington over the release of imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson.

He also addressed Russia, North Korea and Iran pushing back against U.S. sanctions, which he said was “an intended expression of disrespect based on what they observe as [American] weakness,” according to the MEMRI translation.

The timing of those events means that reports of al-Baghdadi’s death would be disproven if the voice on the recording is confirmed to be his.

The reclusive al-Baghdadi has frequently been reported killed since 2014, when he declared himself the leader of all Muslims after the Islamic State’s capture of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The Iraq-born extremist leader hasn’t been seen in public since a 2014 speech in Mosul, but is believed to be hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border region after losing all the cities and towns of his self-proclaimed caliphate.

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James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 31st, 2018

 

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